Creative Madness

Sometimes I think being creative is a curse. I mean, normal people don’t seem to wake up with a million projects and ideas running through their head. They don’t seem to prefer making things to socializing, or eating (though I do get HANGRY when I’m in a the midst of a project and have to stop). When I get in the grip of an idea or project it literally almost eats me alive. I don’t want to do or think about anything else. I really do try to balance it out with other things. Work, of course, but time with my husband too doing other things (movies, dinner). It’s just SO HARD to not be able to do it all at once!

I’m mainly talking about my quilting bug. Knitting, to me, is an inherently slower process and so the grip doesn’t take hold in quite the same way, though sometimes it does turn me into a very monogamous knitter.

Don’t worry, the machine wasn’t running. He was just spot-checking.

This quilt has been in the works for over 2 years. I bought the fabric in the winter of 2013, because I wanted to make a kind of tribute quilt for my then-boyfriend-now-husband, for his military service. Then all kinds of crap happened and it got put in a box. I hadn’t even finished cutting it. When my sewing machine arrived here this was the first project I thought of, but it still took me months to feel ready to pull it out and go to work.

I’m using the Quilted in Honor line of batiks from Island Batik. The red poppies especially just seemed perfect to me. My husband has given up a lot to serve his country, and several of his friends gave their lives. Art is a memorial, to me…and I hope that this quilt when finished will be that for him too.

“Done, Mama. Done for tonight. Pet me. Mama. Mama. Mama, STOP!”

Tristan was not impressed by how many hours I sat at the kitchen table, late into the night. He finally resorted to trying to grab all my tools with his paws. After about half an hour of this, I surrendered for the day.

Inspector General of Projects

IMG_1972    This is where my progress sits at present. All the blocks and sashing strips for a queen size quilt are finished (and pressed, though the sashing hadn’t been in this photo). Next up is appliqueing 99 stars to 3 1/2 inch squares…I’m kind of scared. This will be my first attempt at applique, and it will not be over quickly. Husband promises to help cut them all out though, and I’ve been reading tons of online tutorials so hopefully it won’t be too painful.

This is the quilt that is next up for quilting. I finished the top about two and a half years ago but never got to the quilting. I’m trying to decide what designs I want to use. Much doodling. Hehe.

Reading Life

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New year, new goals! I knocked my 2015 reading goal out of the park, the first year I’ve ever actually reached my number goal, which was 25. I read 69. Sure, the goal was low for the speed at which I normally read, but considering that in 2013 I only read 13 books (for real), and 2015 was going to entail some MAJOR life changes like moving to the other side of the world, I thought it was reasonable. Then I had more free time on my hands then I anticipated, and wham. Almost triple. Whoohoo!

So this year, my number goal is 50. I don’t anticipate moving this year, but we do plan on doing as much traveling as possible, and I have all these other hobbies that intrude on my reading time. My other goal is to finish every book I’ve bought and not read. Towards that end I’ve created a new page with that list. Enjoy my extremely random library (the whole thing is cataloged here…still working on the audiobooks and ebooks). This goal was inspired by my husband wincing over a new box of books arriving in the mail not too long ago, and the reminder that when we DO move back to the States they are the biggest contributor to our moving weight limit. Eeep. So I either read them, or give them away. And, I am going to attempt – key word – to go on a book-buying diet until I have finished the ones I have. All 45 of them (since I already went through and cleared out the 10 or so that I decided I didn’t want to read anymore). I am allowing myself a subscription to OwlCrate…I’ve enjoyed quite a few YA reads in the last year, and I am in absolute love with the literary goodies I’ve seen in pictures of boxes. And I’m just a sucker for subscription boxes in general.

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I’m really kind of bummed I missed out on the Poe zipper pouch.

My last reading goal is a challenge I’m doing with a bunch of pen-pal friends. I’m choosing 12 challenges out of a list to stretch my reading horizons. Books a little out of my comfort zone.

Will I go over 50? I sure hope so! But I wanted to set myself up for success. What are your reading goals for 2016?

Meow, Meow, Meow

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First, hope everyone had a very merry Christmas filled with light and love and laughter! I really missed being at home for all the usual family Christmas stuffs, but we had a great, hilarious, inebriated time with our family here. Haha. In other news…

I am in love. Head over heels hopelessly in love, with a beautiful little ginger kitty. I think he’s in love with us too.

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He certainly has a lot to say. As soon as my alarm goes off in the morning, it starts. Goes something like this.

Meow. Meow. Shhh. *fumbles for alarm* Meow! MEOW! SHHHH!! Meow. *dives out of bed for clothes and bathroom, trying to keep quiet so as not to wake the husband* Meow. Meow. Meow. Sssshhhhhhhh! *kitty flops onto back at my feet and squirms around on bathroom tile* Meow! *gives belly scratches* *kitty squeaks happily and loudly* *tries to get dressed* Meow. Meow. Meow. *husband throws pillows towards bathroom*

I’m really not sure how to cure him of the constant meowing. I keep thinking he needs something, so I go check food, water, litter box…all clean and full. I pick him up, he gets slightly lower in volume but continues meowing. The only thing that stops him so far is getting out toys and playing with him. After about 20 minutes of that he’s usually ready for a nap, but basically if I’m up and moving around he is following me and talking.

Can this be normal? And if so there must be a way to modify the behavior so it’s not CONSTANT. It’s kind of driving us crazy. Oh, and apparently when it is just DH at home, he’s quiet as a little mouse. What did I do??

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The little tongue just kills me.

Good thing he’s so cute.

Welcome Home

Introducing (after much discussion and many name suggestions)…TRISTAN!! He’s here!! I made him a knitted catnip mouse, and he immediately won my heart by loving it.

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Last night was rather…unrestful, as he meowed and  climbed all over us most of the night. At 5 a.m., he woke me up to hand-wrestle me…rolling over on his back and playfully batting at my hand resting on his belly. It was dark, and all I could see were the white tips of his paws. He then proceeded to lick my fingers, then my chin. Consider me completely slain.

When it finally was time to get up (i.e., 6:30 a.m.,) he was very happy to play with me and explore, all while still meowing every 2 seconds.

Tyrion 4I can see right now we’re going to be very good friends…his next stop was the bookstack!

Tyrion3Then he must’ve been tired, because he just lay down and snuggled with me while I wrote a letter.

Tyrion 5Tyrion2And then he claimed our bed.

Tyrion7I think he likes us. I’m in love. He’s one of the sweetest, cuddliest, most easy-going felines I’ve ever met. I’m a little bit in awe. Still wish Alfie-boy was here and they could play together, but I think when we come back to the States they will be great friends.

Giving Forever Homes

When you’re trying to adopt an animal from a rescue, you hear a lot about “forever homes.” It’s a pretty self-explanatory term – meaning you’re in it for the long haul, for the duration of that animal’s life, even when it’s inconvenient.

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I think I have a pretty good grasp on the idea. When I had Timmy (my golden retriever), I lived in a 450 square foot apartment with him and and another person. An 80 lb dog in a tiny apartment. He was older, so not as much energy as a younger retriever, but he still needed lots of walks and bouncing balls off the walls. Some people told me I was cruel for NOT giving him away, but I had been with him so long I felt breaking that bond would have been more cruel. A couple years later, I was eating rice so he could eat his normal food. It was only for a little while, but again, someone told me I should just get rid of him. I saw the point. He did eat quite a bit, and he had food allergies so his food was NOT cheap. I chose to eat my rice and ramen noodles with him rather than steak without him. And to this day, I know his trust in me never wavered, not even when I took him to the vet’s office for the last time and he lay his sweet head in my lap and crossed the Rainbow Bridge.

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So why do I struggle with this term? Mainly because due to my current job (which could, however unlikely, send me places for extended periods of time and not allow me to bring a pet). Also because my sweet Alfie boy is still in the States. Is he in a good, safe home? Yes. Is he adjusting? Yes. When I can am I still going to bring him home with me? Absolutely. My friends understand this. They understand why I couldn’t fly him with me originally. But I still feel horribly, horribly guilty. Will he hate me when he sees me again? Does he think I’ve abandoned him? Yes, I’m still caring for him, but not in the sense an animal will understand.

That said, I applied to an animal rescue here in Korea, for a cat. I was honest about the whole job thing. They asked me a lot of questions. I answered all of them as honestly as  I could. I told them about Timmy, and Alfie. And they decided I was still worthy of being a pet parent. Because I will, to the absolute best of my ability, give a permanent, safe home to any animal I ever call my own. I’m not perfect and don’t expect things to always work out ideally, but I will try and do the absolute best I can for them.

Tyrion

This is Tyrion (name probably changing). I go to pick him up this weekend. I am so excited…I’ve missed animals so very much. Many more posts forthcoming, I’m sure.

Finishing the Things

Pretty proud of all the stuff I managed to accomplish during the last 3 months as a result of participating in the HPKCHC! Ravelry is such an awesome place. :D So, pictures.

yarma_medium2Socks!

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Boy hat!

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Baby sleepsack!

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Dishcloth!

Halloween Sampler 2015

Massive Halloween sampler!

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Yarn!

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More yarn!

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And more!

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Last yarn!

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Sweater vest!

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Baby hat!

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And last but not at all least (see the beads?), Mr. Penguin ornament!!

It feels so good to be making things again. Hope everyone else had a great November, I’ll be back with holiday stuffs postings soon!

The Wheel Turns

I love this time of year. This time and spring makes me feel the most connected with history, both my own personal history and the history of the world. I like the old traditions of Halloween, or Samhain as my Irish and Scottish ancestors probably would have called it. All the modern day gore and zombies aren’t what I love about the season. It’s the idea of the thinning of the veil, of our loved ones perhaps being able to see us or maaaaaybe even communicate with us that pulls me. My dear grandfather passed near this time, on October 6, 12 years ago, so perhaps that has something to do with it. Every October, I miss him and wish I could talk to him, even once more.

Samhain also seems to be my time to finish things. Around this time I feel a huge push to get things done, largely because I want to start new ones. But I really think there’s a desire for closure that pushes me too. Anyway, here is my large finish for this year’s Halloween season.

Halloween Sampler 2015

I’ll get some better pictures once it’s framed, but I’m so damn proud of it. It won’t hang on the wall this year, but definitely next. My husband even likes it and kept asking me if it was going to be done on time. I’d pick up another project and he would ask if it was finished. All kinds of motivation there!

Hope you all have a very happy, blessed Samhain.

The Struggle


Alright, friends.

I’m struggling. I’m really struggling. I’m trying, but I’m struggling. I feel like my life is a mess, a disaster. All our household stuff from Virginia finally arrived last week, and while I’m super excited to have all my stuff, the number of things broken, damaged, or missing continues to go up, and it includes a couple of things that were really important to me.

I try to sit down and relax but the house is such a mess I can’t. Everything is everywhere. Nothing is organized. Well, except the kitchen. I did manage to get the kitchen done because, you know, we have to eat. It’s very awesome to have a crockpot and a bread machine again. And MY mixer. It’s a KitchenAid of the handheld variety, and even though it’s probably 40 years old (it was a hand-me-down from one of my grandmother’s friends to me about 8 years ago) it works so much better than the cheap ones in the store now. Even if the beaters don’t really stay in anymore, the motor is in great (knock on wood) shape!


Then there’s this…


  
 Which is substantially worse after I panicked after not being able to find the flyer to my spinning wheel a couple nights ago.

I just. Can’t. Deal.

I did finish a little dishcloth for the HPKCHC. Made me feel a little better.

Where I Am

I’ve been sleeping a lot lately, truth be told. But tonight I’ve been awake since 2 a.m. courtesy of a migraine prompted by any number of things. I sat in the shower for an hour and a half, and now I’m sitting with a much-dimmed laptop screen (the distraction is worth the slight pain increase from the light) on the couch with a candle burning.

Misery loves company so I’m sharing mine with you. :P

On the bright side, my first month back at playing the HPKCHC went well. I finished a hat, a baby sleepsack, and a pair of socks. I started another pair of socks but didn’t get them finished. Also I started a “Mission,” a larger project that will take longer than a month. So there’s been lots of knitting, and a few other things.

 

 

The finished socks

The finished socks

Finished hat and husband being goofy. :D <3

Finished hat and husband being goofy. :D <3

Unfinished socks.

Unfinished socks.

Start of the Mission project.

Start of the Mission project.

Thoughts

I hate living overseas. Experiences and cheap flights to the rest of Asia be damned. I’m horribly, horribly homesick and I just want to go home.

Apparently baking is a perishable skill. I attempted to make buckeyes last night, and having neither microwave nor double boiler, tried to melt the chocolate in a glass bowl over boiling water. It ended in lots of negative feels, burned chocolate, and a headache.

Autumn is slow to come here. The trees are still green. It’s cooled off some (yay no more 90 degrees + 80% humidity days), but the air still doesn’t have that little nip that says fall. I. need. autumn.

The only thing that makes me feel better is making things. Not sure if this is due to distraction or sense of accomplishment it provides.

I miss Alfie so badly. He’s never even lived here with us and yet I look for him everywhere. I keep reminding myself it was better FOR HIM to stay in Virginia but part of me isn’t convinced.

Draken had her little dragon. She’s beautiful. The sleep sack I knit for her is the only project I’ve finished lately.

I want to go home.